Pacefuturo Associazione Onlus
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Place / Date / Schedule

Pacefuturo ONLUS, Pettinengo, Biella, Piedmont, Italy, 17th—19th May 2018




The seminar’s initial aim was to accumulate knowledge on its focus topic: the reception of asylum seekers and refugees within Alpine regions of Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany and Slovenia. Statistical data, local issues, and national and regional policies were all investigated and compared in order to detect main trends, challenges, and transnational variations and commonalities.


A selected and representative number of good hospitality and social inclusion practices were then identified. While considering regional specificities, participants discussed a number of key case studies. Each shed light on the conditions, determined by the specificity of Alpine (environments due to their altitude, village locations, architecture, local cultures and communities etc.), that can turn processes undertaken by actors at different levels into socio-territorial devices for either excluding or including foreign immigrants.


During the seminar, many ForAlps network members, who have also contributed to the volume Alpine Refugees (due for release at the end of 2018), discussed the particulars of various book chapters.


Ultimately, the meeting offered its members the opportunity to discuss a set of concrete recommendations for policymakers aimed specifically at social and economic foreign migrant and refugee inclusion within mountain areas.



Pacefuturo Onlus, Pettinengo, Biella, Piedmont, Italy -

The meeting was held at the headquarters of Pacefuturo, the NGO initiated in 2003 by a group of friends in response to the 2001 Twin Towers attack and subsequent war.

Pettinengo is a small village in the Prealpi Biellesi (the Alps close to the city of Biella) characterised by an important industrial history that ended dramatically just a few years ago. Nowadays, residents are trying to find new local development pathways by rediscovering the area’s cultural and natural heritage.

Pacefuturo promotes an idea of peace and its future in relation to human means of approaching freedom and justice. From its very beginning, Pacefuturo has been active in organising cultural events, public meetings, training courses, workshops and providing welfare services for the local community. More recently, the NGO has started hosting asylum seekers on its premises as part of an important welcoming project that has also had a strong impact on the local economy (more than 100 migrants are hosted every year).

Pacefuturo is based in Villa Piazzo, an ancient building with four fully-restored floors equipped with every amenity to host exhibitions, cultural and didactic activities, and celebratory and recreational events (hall with reception, coffee shop with kitchen equipped to serve hot meals, direct access to the surrounding park, study hall and library, auditorium).


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